As we age, knee damage looms large on the horizon, especially for women when compared to men. Additionally, knee damage is particularly prevalent in those who are overweight. This means, the heavier we are, the faster our knees deteriorate.
Factors that play a key role in the onset of knee damage:
Knee damage occurs as a result of the cartilage erosion which gradually increases as we get older. It can also be caused by:
Knee damage is not a particularly dangerous condition but it can have a serious effect on a person’s lifestyle. Often, it leaves one with pain that makes walking difficult. As a result, sufferers may fear leaving their home, become increasingly withdrawn and eventually fall victim to depression.
Some types of knee pain will go away by themselves. However, where that knee pain is a result of knee damage, consult a specialist. Furthermore, it’s important to receive the proper advice and treatment in order to ensure the condition does not deteriorate.
Treatment may come in medicated and non-medicated forms. Besides, it could involve the patient carrying out targeted exercises to increase knee strength and lose excess weight. This helps reduce the impact on the knees. Some cases may require the patient to undergo strength training alongside taking medication to reduce the pain. This is because it increases treatment efficiency by helping to stave off any potential complications. For instance, it prevents deterioration in muscle strength surrounding the knee joint, knee buckling or being unable to flex the knee properly.
Total knee arthroplasty: This form of surgery is suited to patients with severe knee damage, especially those seriously affected by the condition. So much so that it impacts their daily life. In most cases, recipients of this form of treatment are those who didn’t respond well to other forms of treatment. In other words, non-medicated treatment or medicated treatment alongside strength training had been unsuccessful. Alternatively, they may be suffering from an extremely misshapen knee joint. Due to that, they have had walking irregularities and severe knee cartilage erosion.
1.Lose weight: Do not allow yourself to become overweight as this will mean more work for the knee joints. For those who are already overweight, losing 5 kilograms can significantly ease knee pain. In addition, it can reduce the risk of knee damage by up to 50%.
2.Consult your doctor: Your doctor will be able to carry out a thorough diagnosis, provide treatment and offer advice on what to do next.
3.Avoid heavy impacts: Generally speaking, knee damage occurs as a result of playing some types of sport, such as football and rugby.
4.Stop being mean to your knees: All in all, avoid kneeling down, sitting cross-legged or sitting with your knees bent for long periods of time. Try to find a small chair or cushion to rest your knees so that they are not extended for too long at a time. In cases where you aren’t able to, change your sitting position frequently.
5.Avoid overworking the knees: Try to avoid, for instance, jumping, lifting heavy objects or activities that rely on the knees working hard, such as walking on uneven ground or going up and down stairs.
6.Exercise: Strengthening the muscles at the front of the knee joint will aid knee flexing. Consequently, knee pain reduces considerably.
7.Seek treatment immediately: Treatment should be carried out as soon as possible if you are in an accident or have suffered knee damage. Moreover, an appropriate amount of time should be given to rest and recuperation before returning to partaking in the sport or physical activity once more.
8.Select the right footwear: Choosing the correct footwear to suit the activity is essential. The correct shoes will help you reduce the risk of injury and aide the work carried out by the knee by allowing it to flex properly without tensing up. This is especially important for women who should not be wearing shoes with too high a heel as this can easily cause the knee joint to twist unnaturally.
9.Increase the consumption of beneficial foods: This applies to foods which can help strengthen the knee, for example:
10.Reduce the intake of joint-damaging foods
Knee damage may be a completely normal part of the ageing process. If we act according to the essential tips laid out above, it can help slow that process down and provie some relief for joint pain. That being said, in cases where joint pain is having a significant effect on the daily life of the sufferer, medical attention should be sought to ensure the correct diagnosis and treatment.
M.D., Faculty of Medicine Rangsit University, 2003.